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Re: [CSS21] Please endorse xml:id

From: Robin Berjon <robin.berjon@expway.fr>
Date: Tue, 28 Jun 2005 20:31:32 +0200
Message-ID: <42C19784.3020608@expway.fr>
To: Ian Hickson <ian@hixie.ch>
Cc: Norman Walsh <Norman.Walsh@Sun.COM>, www-style@w3.org

Ian Hickson wrote:
> It's not appropriate for a spec to take positions on other technologies. 
> Technologies should succeed or fail on their own merits, not because they 
> were dragged kicking and screaming into implementations by virtue of other 
> specs requiring them.

That is quite incorrect. CSS, on it's complete own, is 100% useless. A
CSS user agent would probably be the dumbest piece of software one could
ever write.

It is *very* appropriate for user-agent orientated specs to take a stand
on which technologies are applicable. At the other end of the spectrum
you get toolbox specs that are just there to be reused for whatever. 
Those aren't bad per se -- while decorating the christmas tree I guess I
could amuse my youngest nephews with style="balls:none;" for a short 
while -- but they don't do that much to help foster interoperability. 
It's fine to have shiny screws and a nice red screwdriver, but if they 
don't match you're, well, screwed.

CSS 2.1 is already a good piece of post-processing in that direction, 
but it can be improved still. Improving interoperability by adding 
xml:id is a case where it would take a chance of being helpful.

Norm's request is extremely reasonable, I would say even too much so.
The CSS spec already acknowledges the existences of implementations
applying it to specific tree technologies (not the christmas tree I'm
sorry to notice, but what the heck). All he said was *if* an
implementation applies CSS to XML, then it SHOULD (I would very
definitely say MUST), use xml:id.

What's that to ask? It doesn't burden HTML implementations. It doesn't
burden anyone who's not doing an XML+CSS implementation. And any of
those who are but do not plan to support xml:id in the very short term
are just bent on making their users feel as much pain as possible and
when the Evolution comes they'll be the first to be defenestrated. It's
even magic in that if you don't support namespaces you can still
implement it because the 'xml' prefix is fixed.

So please put it in. It's the nice and reasonable thing to do.

And we don't want to get unreasonable do we? Because I agree that
implementors shouldn't be "dragged kicking and screaming" into doing
stuff. I find it works better when they're chained, gagged, and whipped.
Most of the time at least, and your mileage may vary.

Robin Berjon
   Senior Research Scientist
   Expway, http://expway.com/
Received on Thursday, 30 June 2005 01:32:33 UTC

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